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Science and Innovations

Health Experts Recommend Postponing Mammograms After COVID-19 Vaccination

Society of Breast Imaging

Health experts recommend that women who have been recently vaccinated against COVID-19 should delay mammograms for at least a month, when possible. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Some people who receive the Moderna or Pfizer COVID vaccine experience swollen lymph nodes as a side effect. Experts warn that can be misidentified as a sign of breast cancer during screenings.

Dr. Jessica Leung is the president of the nonprofit Society of Breast Imaging. "Just like when we hear about symptoms such as a fatigue or muscle aches as a normal response to the vaccination, this can also be a normal response that we see in some women," Leung says. "Just note that it is your body’s way of mounting an immune response, which is desired."

Leung adds it’s critical to not miss a breast cancer diagnosis and women should not skip their screenings. If a delay isn’t possible, she says people should tell their doctor when they were vaccinated and in what arm. Swollen lymph nodes can also be a rare side effect of other vaccines, including the flu vaccine.

Learn more from the Society of Breast Imaging.


Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.
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